A lightweight leather Champion
Continuing with the relaunch of the brand, Adler have designed their own take of a lightweight leather boot, the Horenso. With a design that looks sleek and still classic at the same time, Adler have sought to bridge the gap between how a classic boot looks and how it performs and weighs. The Horenso comes in at 213 grams (7.5 Ounces) versus the Yatagarshu’s still respectable 236 grams (8.3 Ounces). Much like its brother, the Yatagarashu, the Horenso is equipped with a KaRVO midlsole that helps it stand out from the pack. And stand out it does.
Fit and Feel
One of the most enjoyable things about opening a box of Adler boots is the wonderful smell of leather that is pervasive. Getting the boots on for the first time makes one think that they are designed to fit your foot almost exactly and the upper exudes softness and comfort. The break-in time is minimal and there were no hot spots to speak of. There have also been no issues with overstretching and the stitching on the upper does a good job of helping the boots keep their shape.
The heel design is low cut but at the same time it does not mean that the heel is not secured in place during play. There is good cushioning in the heel without being over the top and the combination of the cambrelle lining and the cushioning help keep the heel in place. The rear of the boot is also designed in a way in which the stitching helps support and lock in the heel.
Similar to the Yatagarashu the KaRVO midsole in the Horenso helps provide additional support in the bottom of the foot and the additional ReaLine insoles also means extra support can be added if needed. Again, it has to be said how nice and important it is two have a second pair of insoles because for some people it could make all the difference to comfort and give them the support they need not just for their feet, but their joints as well.
The Horenso also seems to fit slightly narrower than the Yatagarashu but it is still very much suitable for pretty much all foot types. My foot is a little bit on the narrower side and the fit is excellent, whereas there is still plenty of adjustment available in the laces for wider-footed players. Being a more lightweight design, the Horenso has less volume in the upper and looks the part of a speed boot without any of the drawbacks, like a stiffer upper or an unforgiving fit.
As far as sizing, also like the Yatagarashu I went half a size down and the fit was excellent.
Touch and Dribbling
It always bears worth repeating, a kangaroo leather upper still gives the best feel of the ball of any material out there. The Horenso absolutely excels with the touch on the ball, with a thin midfoot and a slightly cushioned forefoot. It is slightly less cushioned than the Yatagarashu meaning the touch on the ball is a bit more raw and close to the foot. Thus, it feels like what one would expect from a leather speed boot. Just the right amount of finesse on the upper to make all the difference.
Dribbling in the Horenso is fantastic. Such a low volume and minimally padded upper means that the ball feels almost at one with your foot when dribbling at speed. There is little to get in the way and making quick little touches at speed feels natural. No enhancements, no gimmicks, just you, the Horenso and the ball. It may look like a classic leather boot, but its performance is more modern in nature.
For whatever reason, and this may be down to the overall nature of the boot, dribbling felt better and more precise in the Horenso versus the Yatagarashu. It is probably down to the design and the way the stitching is done in the forefoot, which both seem to lend themselves well to the overall performance of the boot.
Passing and Shooting
This also holds true for the Horenso here as well. The way the boot is designed appears to have a positive effect when passing and shooting the ball. Again, I found the Horenso to perfom better here versus the Yatagarashu. This could also be down to personal preference as often I prefer more speed like boots. But that just reinforces the fact that the Horenso is well-designed to perfom.
There is also the KaRVO wildcard which is worth mentioning again that it does make a big difference here, providing a stable platform for the foot to sit on when hitting the ball. Much like with the Yatagarshu, the Horenso performs above expectations because of the KaRVO. It is worth mentioning that there is no midfoot shank in the Horenso the spine of the boot does not feel as stiff. I was expecting there to be a negative impact, but like mentioned previously, I still found that I preferred the Horenso over the Yatagarashu when hitting long passes or shooting the ball. Not that there is a wrong answer between the two.
Shooting is brilliant in Horenso. The thin upper combined with thee close to the foot fit meant that you can be more specific with placing your shots and alternatively, there is a slight ping sensation when hammering the ball. But hitting the perfect curl seems easy to do in the Horenso and that is even without the benefit of any grip enhancements, and coming from someone who loves grippy uppers, I was impressed. Fantastic performance available here.
That great KaRVO midsole performs again here. While having a midfoot shank would be a bonus, it would add to the weight of the boot and somewhat mess up the balance that has been achieved with the Horneso. There is still some nice springback in the forefoot but it is not as strong as what is found in the Yatagarashu, but it was never an issue or overly noticeable in testing.
As for the studs themselves, read the Yatagarashu review for more detail but they perform well on multiple surfaces and they never seem to lack the grip that was needed. A solid performer.
The laces from Itogo are still amazing. Probably my favourite laces now on any boot.
I am surprised that I ended up liking the Horenso as much as I do. Yes, I do have a preference for lighter weight boots but I do not think they’re everything and I thought it would be difficult to live up to the expectations that I had after testing the Yatagarashu. However, the Horenso is an amazing boot that is worth everyone’s attention. They have quickly become my go-to boots and so much so that I am already eyeing up grabbing the superb white colourway that will be available when the boots launch soon. What a boot.
The boots are now available to buy directly from Adler by clicking the link here
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Buy it here: Adler Horenso. After your purchase be sure to send me your order number.